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172                                    FLORA  INDICA.
while those still further back', and bounded on the plainward
feoe by mountains rising everywhere to the level of perpetual
snow, are absolutely without rain during the monsoon. In
Sikkim and Bhotan, where the wide valleys are perpendicu-
lar to the axis of the chain, -and correspond to the direction
of the winds, the rains arc heavy till we penetrate far into the
interior, but great irregularities everywhere occur even in
adjacent valleys; thus the transverse chain of the upper Tista
makes the climate of the higher parts of the Lacheu valley
much drier than tha,t of the Lachuug river, though the two
are only a few mile§ apart.
We meet, therefore, in the Himalaya, with all the modifi-
cations of climate which have already been enumerated as oc-
curring in India, and the aspect of the mountains varies with
the climate. In the permanently humid parts tho mountains
arc covered everywhere with an uniform sombre forest, mask-
ing all inequalities of surface, and giving a dull and mono-
tonous aspect to the scenery. Tins forest rises to the upper
limit of trees, at 12-13,000 feet, and is succeeded by grassy
pastures, which ascend to the snow-line. Forests are also
plentiful where the dry season is well marked and tho rains
abundant; but they are there confined to the shady and
moister exposures, while the sunny slopes and all the lower
hills are grassy and rocky. The permanently arid mountains
of the extreme west are barren and rocky, and devoid of tree**
at all elevations,
In the temperate valleys of the inner Himalaya, where the
rain-fall is moderate in amount and the ground iť perma-
nently covered with snow during winter, and where-the hot
summer's sun powerfully stimulates vegetation, the mountain
slopes present a delightful intermixture of bcaut&J forest and
of luxuriant vegetation; while above the limit of trees the
compact turf is enamelled with myriads of lovely flowers, nou-
rished1 by the melting snows and the genial wajrmth of summer.
To this, however, as we penetrate further into the interior, a
barren, treeless climate rapidly succeeds, in which the princi-